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Sahara Rise Conference to mark an international strategy in front of Morocco

The Conference Sahara Rise will mark the new strategy of international civil resistance in front of Morocco

The historical meeting will gather more than 50 Sahrawi and International organisations on February 25th, 26th and 27th in the refugee camps

The conference will analyse the current political situation and the keys of success of the nonviolent civil resistance to define a plan of unitary action between the Sahrawi and International actors and has been announced in www.sahararise.org

Barcelona 01/31/2018

More than 50 Sahrawi and international organisations are preparing the Conference “Sahara Rise” with the purpose to set up a strategic campaign of nonviolent civil resistance from the Sahrawipeople, making an international call to action against the occupation of the Western Sahara by the Moroccan government. This historical meeting will be celebrated on February 25th, 26th and 27th in the Sahrawi refugee campswhere over hundred activists and experts will participate.

The targets of the conference are “to develop an effective and inclusive nonviolent campaign based on a common vision of all the Sahrawiorganisations and to create a support platform to this campaign that allows to articulate and reinforce the united alliances between the Sahrawipeople and international actors”. The conference will have reports and workshops in which the campaign and common actions for nonviolent civil resistance will be agreed on.

Experts from all over the world will contribute to the plan of action

During the first day a score of experts in nonviolent civil resistance in Palestine, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland,among others, will share their experiences and knowledge with the Sahrawi participants. The conference will start with the intervention of prominent figures of the popular struggle of the Sahrawi people and leaders in the international defense of Human Rights such as Ahmed Galai, member of the Tunisian League for the Human Rights, organisation that received in 2015 the Nobel Prize of the Peace.

From here the conference will be structured in three thematic blocks. In the first block, the keys of success of nonviolent civil resistance will be the main topic and it will be provided with the intervention of Sahrawi and international experts like Stellan Vinthagen. During the second block we will focus on international practices of civil resistance actions, with cases like the struggle for the Palestinian cause through the strategy of boycott, divestments and sanctions to the State of Israel; the Revolution of the Smiles in Catalunya or the strategies of action implemented during the South African Apartheid. Mahmoud Nawajaa, general coordinator of the Boycott National Committee, will be one of the specialist in this panel. The day will end with the intervention of diverse leaders and Sahrawi activists from the Occupied territories, the Refugees’ Camps and the Diaspora.

The second day of the conference will be assined to design the strategy of civil resistance combining plenary sessions with team works. These debates will go on aspects as the struggle against the pillaging of the natural resources and the human rights, women’s role in pacific resistanceor the role of the Sahrawi young people in the transformation of the conflict. Likewise the platform of international actors that will implement the strategy from the exterior of the Sahrawi territories will be articulated.

A plan of international action to put end to the occupation of the Western Sahara

The conference will close with the presentation and approval of an action plan based on a campaign of civil and pacific resistance agreed with the Sahrawi civil organisations and that is translated into a call to the international solidarity movement.

The Sahrawi people have tried to overcome the political conflict throughout history using many different strategies. After Spain‘s retreat and the Moroccan occupation in 1976 the Sahrawi people turned out to be immersed in a warlike conflict that finished in 1991 with the promise of the United Nations to hold a self-determination referendum in a one-year frame. From this date the international political institutions have been unable to force a solution to the political and humanitarian crisis to which the Sahrawi people have been submitted in spite of the Front Polisario efforts across the diplomatic route to solve the situation and of the continuous social mobilizations in the Occupied territories ofMorocco. The conflict, nevertheless, keep on having presence in the international politics agenda. The judgments of the European Court of Justice that recognize the sovereignty of the Sahrawi people on its territory and its natural resources, annulling the agreements between the EU and Morocco on the subject of fishing; the new tension climb between the Polisario Front and Morocco in the area of the Guerguerat at the beggining of 2018 or the round of direct conversations between Morocco and the Polisario Front that the German Horst Könler, sent by the United Nations for the Western Sahara, promoted in Berlin at the end of this month.

During the last months the Sahrawi civil society has worked on the celebration of the International Conference Sahara Rise in order to combine the diplomatic negotiation route with a mobilization widespread and supported in the time. The strategy based on the Sahrawi civil resistance with international support that arises from this process tries to be the point of inflection that opens the doors for a new stage where the occupation will end.

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